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Fest season begins with the arrival of the first weekend after spring break, and with it brings Mill Fest. Thousands of people descended on Mill Street for a weekend of partying from March 26 to March 27, 2023. 

Mill Fest draws hundreds following small Milliron Fest turnout

A relatively small gathering of students kicked off Fest Season at Ohio University last Friday with Milliron Fest; however, warmer weather produced a much larger turnout at Mill Fest on Saturday.

Milliron Fest

The first fest of the season was met with undesirable weather. It only reached 42 F and rained the majority of the night, which caused the cancellation of the BrickLife event and a lackluster number of fest participants. 

Sophia Gee, a freshman studying business entrepreneurship, said she and her friends attended Milliron to see what the fests were like. As freshmen, they said they had had no prior experience with fest season. 

Around 8 p.m., the streets were bare with only a few people walking around. Most of the festivities occurred at apartments that were hosting small-scale parties. 

Clare Mattingly, a sophomore studying wildlife conservation, said she was not excited to be at Milliron Fest because of the low temperature. 

Most of the people at the parties were either residents of apartments on the street or friends of apartment owners. 

Alex Arend, a junior studying social work, said she probably would not have gone to Milliron if she did not live there. 

“(The fests) are fun, so I come back,” Arend said. “I feel like I just have FOMO so I got to come back. Everybody’s there, so I got to be there.”

Many people said they were more excited for the upcoming fests, but those who hosted Milliron fests said they enjoyed being able to throw a party, even if attendance was small. 

Mill Fest

After a rainy beginning to OU’s fest season, students were eager to hit Mill Street early Saturday morning to enjoy the festivities and the sun. As early as 9 a.m., students could be seen walking up and down Mill Street.

“(The turnout’s) definitely better than last year, the weather was bad and the vibes just weren’t there,” Sydney Broderick, a junior studying education, said.

House parties along the street were in full swing by 10 a.m., with packed yards and loud music. The Athens Police Department could also be spotted riding on horseback to monitor Mill Fest as many students cheered them on. 

The number of party-goers peaked at noon, with many fest-goers toting around “borgs,” a drinking trend that has recently become popular among college students, as they walked from one house party to another. 

Borgs, which is shorthand for “blackout rage gallons,” are plastic gallon jugs filled with water, alcohol, liquid flavoring and a hydration packet. The trend appeared to be especially popular this fest season.

Some party-goers also named their borgs. Broderick said one of her friends named their borg “blackborg.edu,” inspired by the learning platform Blackboard. 

Rein Lee, a sophomore studying neuroscience at Ohio State University, said she was participating in the festivities on Mill with her best friend who attends OU. 

Lee said the best part about Mill Fest was being able to drink away her problems. 

Zoe Foerster, a freshman studying sociology-criminology, was on Mill Street to socialize and take her sister’s dog, Wishbone, on a walk.

“I needed to take him on a walk before dinner, but I think he also wanted to see some people and get people’s attention,” Foerster said.

Foerster said the best part about Mill Fest was the community aspect.

“Everyone's out and you see the whole school is out and everyone just parties together,” Foerster said. “It's just a day where everyone is together.”

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